Iran's government announced on Monday that it would pass the threshold for how much uranium it was allowed to stockpile under the terms of the Obama-era nuclear deal within 10 days.
What ever happened with the Iran nuclear deal?
In 2015, the Obama administration agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in return for promises that it would reduce its stockpile of uranium and stop trying to build a nuclear bomb.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump, who had criticized the deal as "insane. Ridiculous. It should never have been made," announced that the United States was pulling out of the deal. Other signatories of the deal, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have tried to keep the deal going.
Iran has told these nations that it will only adhere to the guidelines laid out by the deal if they can agree to circumvent the sanctions that the U.S. has slapped on Iran.
What happened now?
In a news conference, Iranian atomic agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that his country was increasing its production of uranium.
"If Iran feels that the sanctions have been reinstated or not lifted, Iran has the right to partly or on the whole suspend its commitments," he said.
According to Kamalvandi, Iran will pass the 300-kilogram limit set by the deal on June 27. After that, it will push past the 3.67 percent purity to which it had agreed to enrich uranium under the terms of the now-defunct deal and begin enrichment at 3.7 percent. However, while this is a clear act of defiance, it is still far less than the 90 percent purity required to develop an atomic bomb.
Kalmavadi said that if European nations did not meet Iranian demands, they might increase the purity of uranium to 5 percent or even 20 percent.
"There is still time for the Europeans... But the Europeans have expressed indirectly their inability to act. They should not think that after 60 days, they will have another 60-day opportunity," Kamalvandi warned, according to the BBC.